This weekend we went to Mass on Saturday evening because Kathleen was on call on sunday. That’s right, she was on call all mother’s day. However, it turned out to be a pretty light call day. She only got called in twice, once at 9:30 AM and once at 1:30 AM.
When I got Evie up for breakfast at ate I had the strangest desire to go to Mass. Not that it is strange to desire to go to Mass. I like to go every day when I can. But it was a Sunday Morning Mass, and we had already fulfilled our obligation. More than that, it was the nature of the desire that was strange. It was a feeling that I should get Evie fed and changed and out the door to Mass right away, coupled with the certainty that we had just enough time to make 9:00 AM Mass at All Saints (not our usual parish) if I didn’t dally.
So I did. I didn’t understand why, but I was fairly sure that God was directing me to it, so what the heck, you know? Like I really have anything better to do than take Evie to visit Jesus?
Two occurrences made the whole thing a little more clear after we left.
First, I am currently doing the Divine Mercy Novena and yesterday was day 6. I hadn’t read the intention for the day yet, but I grabbed the book on the way out the door and read it right before we went into Church:
Today bring to Me the Meek and Humble Souls and the Souls of Little Children, and immerse them in My mercy. These souls most closely resemble My Heart. They strengthened Me during My bitter agony. I saw them as earthly Angels, who will keep vigil at My altars. I pour out upon them whole torrents of grace. I favor humble souls with My confidence.
Most Merciful Jesus, You yourself have said, “Learn from Me for I am meek and humble of heart.” Receive into the abode of Your Most Compassionate Heart all meek and humble souls and the souls of little children. These souls send all heaven into ecstasy and they are the heavenly Father’s favorites. They are a sweet-smelling bouquet before the throne of God; God Himself takes delight in their fragrance. These souls have a permanent abode in Your Most Compassionate Heart, O Jesus, and they unceasingly sing out a hymn of love and mercy.
Eternal Father, turn Your merciful gaze upon meek souls, upon humble souls, and upon little children who are enfolded in the abode which is the Most Compassionate Heart of Jesus. These souls bear the closest resemblance to Your Son. Their fragrance rises from the earth and reaches Your very throne. Father of mercy and of all goodness, I beg You by the love You bear these souls and by the delight You take in them: Bless the whole world, that all souls together may sing out the praises of Your mercy for endless ages. Amen.
Suddenly it became clear, but it was about to get clearer still.
All Saints, as I said, is not our usual Parish. They are closer to us than Cabrini, but their liturgical practice is a little looser than I like. Particularly I don’t like that they don’t kneel for the Consecration. How is Evie supposed to see Jesus if everyone is standing up blocking her view?
That being said their hearts are in the right place. They are one of the friendliest parishes around. Around the walls of the church, where the vault of the ceiling begins, they have posters of various saints, which they rotate through. Some are there all the time, like St. Joan of Arc and St. Mother Teresa. Others, like the evangelists and apostles, come and go according to liturgical season. However, yesterday they had a picture that I had never seen before, featuring these two:
That’s right, Sts. Louis and Zelie Martin, the parents of St. Therese de Lisieux, Evie’s patron Saint.
The message couldn’t be clearer. It was not a new thing that God was trying to teach, but an old thing that He was trying to remind us of, namely that our only business as parents is to bring our children to Him. The calling of each and every family is to be the birthplace of Saints. Any other success or failure means little or nothing compared with this question, which Jesus will ask us when we see Him in judgment: “Did you let the Little Children come to Me?”